When we brought Hunter home from the hospital a few days after he was born, we knew that we would spend the rest of our lives trying to keep him out of harms way.

We knew an ER visit was inevitable, actually, probably more than one ER visit in his lifetime, but we were not quite prepared for his first visit to be at 18 months of age.

Over the weekend Hunter had an accident. 

Before I get into it, I should mention, he's fine.  He's got no permanent damage and if you watched him running around the playroom right now, you wouldn't have any idea that he had been in the ER over the weekend.

Anytime your kid has an accident you end up replaying and reliving it over and over in your mind. How could we have prevented the accident? How could we have protected him? How do we make sure it never happens again?

We've tackled all those questions and more, but it's kind of like terrorism at the airport; once someone has been caught with a bomb in their shoe, they probably aren't going to do that again- it will be something else next time (although we still remove our shoes). So, part of our conversations have been trying to prevent injuries and accidents that we haven't even thought of yet. 

How do you keep your kids safe from all the dangers in the world? 

You can't.

And when you realize that, your mind explodes and you spiral into a black-hole of wanting to wrap your child in bubble wrap and never let them leave the house. Plus your blood pressure increases to a new normal level of high and your ninja reflexes get put on high alert- FOREVER.

So, now that you know that Chris and I have lost years from our life, here is what happened....

Saturday morning Chris and Hunter were hanging out in the playroom, eating breakfast, while I was out spending a day working on a Rebuilding Together volunteer project about an hour away from Seattle.

There was a cup of hot coffee up behind the couch on a stack of magazines and Hunter climbed up on the couch to look out the window to see the tractor at the construction site.  He grabbed onto the stack of magazines to pull himself up and inadvertently knocked the cup of coffee all over himself- burning his chest.

It happened in an instant.

Chris was amazing.  He got Hunter stripped down, rinsed off and into the car and to the hospital in a matter of minutes.

I would have fallen apart (and I did when he called me), but Chris is the level-headed one and the best person to have with you in an emergency.  

Chris called me once he was already en route to the ER and gave me the run down of what happened. He told me to stay where I was and that he would call me to give me an update as soon as he was at the ER.  I was pretty much useless from that moment on, a bundle of nerves waiting to hear what comes next.

The ER treated Hunter with morphine, which helped ease his pain and they reassured Chris that he was going to be ok.  Luckily, my sister Chelsey was only a few blocks away and dropped everything to get to the hospital and be there with them until I could make it there.

The first ER ended up sending him to another ER across the city that has a pediatric burn unit. Chris, Chelsey and Hunter headed over to the burn unit and I was able to meet them there. I've never been so laser focused on getting somewhere in a hurry.

I can honestly say that I have never appreciated medical professionals more than over the weekend.  Everyone we came in contact with was helpful, reassuring and amazing with Hunter.

When I walked into the ER and saw Hunter, laying in Chris' arms with a burnt chest, I broke into tears.  I think the nurses were more worried about me than Hunter for a while.
They got us checked in, more pain meds for Hunter and admitted us into their burn unit. 

Once we got to the burn unit, we met Sue, the most amazing nurse (no offense to all the other amazing nurses out there).  She made Hunter smile, laugh and connected with him immediately.  She was a 40 year veteran in the burn unit and has seen it all.

She let us know his burns were superficial, and only affected the top layer of skin. Although these are painful burns, they most often end with a full recovery.  She applied a thin anti-bacterial foam pad to his chest to cover the burned area, called Mepilex.  This stuff is amazing.
She mentioned that its the best invention to treat burns in her 40 year run in that unit.  It essentially is the thickness of the foam on a mouse pad, and has one sticky side that is treated with silver. The sticky side goes directly on the burn and helps it heal, infection free. 

As she applied the foam, she explained to Hunter, that these were his football pads, and that they were there to protect him, just like the Huskies and the Seahawks.

She was speaking his language, and she knew it.

She then put a cloth wrap over the foam to keep it in place and told him it was his jersey. (You'll notice she also treated Bunny as well).

She asked Hunter about his favorite sport, if he liked the Huskies or Seahawks better and if he wanted to be a quarterback.

He was so proud of his football pads, he was grinning from ear to ear.

I could have hugged her.  If my arms weren't wrapped around Hunter, I would have.

She made our little man, feel like he was invincible and strong and that he was special.

To be honest, I'm tearing up just remembering it.

She was our turning point.

The mepilex started to cool the burn and provided protection to the wound for Hunter to be able to run, jump and climb, like he had done just hours before. He was feeling better both physically and mentally, as he was now convinced he was a true football player. Immediately he was requesting snacks, milk, water and yogurt.  You know he's feeling better if he is shoveling yogurt into his mouth all by himself.
We checked into our room and essentially spent the next 24 hours charming the nurses, testing all the toys in their play room and ensuring he didn't get an infection, spike a fever or have trouble managing his pain.

One of the nurses showed him the secret stash of little tykes cars, and he was off and rolling around the halls of the burn ward waving at other patients, beeping his horn, and taking his new dinosaur toy for a ride.

All in all, he handled the whole thing better than we did.  Unfortunately, there is no morphine injection for Chris and I; nothing to take the edge off.  

The only thing keeping us me from crumbling to pieces, was hearing Hunter laugh and smile and point to his chest and say "fuh-ball."

We got home Sunday evening, picked up Ketch from my parents' house, and then babied Hunter as much as humanly possible (we fed him sorbet for dinner and let him watch Bob the Builder on repeat).

The last two mornings, he woke up, wanted nanny Steph to check out his football pads and promptly got dressed in his favorite jerseys (since he is a football player now).
Each day, he is healing, the Mepilex is doing it's job, keeping his chest safe and helping him to get back to 100%.

In a few days, we will change the pad, and next week, we will take him back to see our friends in the burn unit and with any luck, his chest will be healed up and he'll be back to his old self.

I, on the other hand, will never be the same.